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  • General FAQs
    Where is ALIVE Rescue located? ALIVE Rescue's shelter, Big Barn, is located in Salem, Wisconsin. In addition to this facility, we have a large number of adoptable animals living in loving foster homes throughout the Chicagoland and SE Wisconsin areas. Where can I find out about upcoming events? We’d love to hang out with you! Check out all of our upcoming events here. I'd like to volunteer, how do I get started? Our volunteer family is AMAZING and we have a variety of ways to get involved. To see how you can get involved, head to our volunteer page. ​ How can I/my company partner with ALIVE Rescue? For donation-related questions, including in-kind, corporate sponsorship, planned giving, grants, and event or fundraising donations, email Kristen Gerali. How can I send a donation to ALIVE Rescue? Thank you for choosing to donate to ALIVE Rescue. We value our donors and run our operation because of people like you. Head here to donate now! For a supply donation, check out our wish list. I found an abandoned animal. What should I do? If there is a collar and tag, please call the number on the tag. If no tag is located, but there is a rabies tag, you can call the county it was performed in and provide them the number. They will be able to give you the veterinary office whom can provide you the owners information. ​ If there isn't a tag, or the process above does not work, please take the animal to a local rescue or vet office to scan for a microchip. Check Craigslist and Lost Dog/Cats of Illinois to see if the animal was posted. If they were not posted on Lost Dogs/Cats as "lost," please post them as "found." You can then print flyers straight from the post and hang them around the area the animal was found. ​ If you are unable to locate the owner and cannot keep the animal in your home while searching, bring the lost pet to Chicago Animal Care and Control. They will continue to search for the owners. I want to relinquish my pet. What should I do? Click here to learn more about the ​Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and Support Program (“CRISP”). This charity provides low or no-cost services to help Chicago pet owners keep their pets rather than surrendering them to the city shelter. If pets cannot be kept by their owners, then CRISP will network to help place them immediately with a rescue group or no-kill shelter to bypass the city shelter completely. *Please use caution when re-homing an animal on your own as there are individuals looking for animals without the best intentions. ​
  • Adoption FAQs
    Where do your animals come from? The majority of our animals come from open-access shelters. Many of the animals at these shelters are not available for adoption to the public and are at risk of euthanasia due to lack of space and resources. We also have partnerships with other out-of-state and out-of-country rescue groups as well as sanctuaries that we welcome animals from. What happens when an animal is taken into ALIVE’s program? Upon intake, all of our animals are fully vetted (as age and health permit), including spay/neuter, core vaccines, microchipping, heartworm testing, and fecal testing. If necessary, they receive grooming and any medications or surgeries. They are then placed into a foster home while they wait for their forever home. Adopters are responsible for the healthcare of the animal from the point of adoption forward, unless other arrangements have been previously discussed. Can I meet the animal before applying? We do our best to ensure each animal’s biography contains as much information as possible, including up to date photos, to allow you to determine if the animal would be a good fit for your family. However, you can always contact for more information about an animal prior to filling out the application. ​ In addition, we do have periodic adoption events where we showcase our adoptable animals. Check out our calendar of events for the next scheduled adoption event. We post the animals that will be attending each event on our Facebook/Instagram pages the day prior to the event. If you apply for an animal and are approved to the "home visit" stage, we bring the animal to your home for a meet and greet as well. ​ *While we list breeds for the dogs available for adoption, visual breed identification in dogs is unreliable so for most of the dogs we are only guessing at predominant breed or breed mix. We get to know each dog as an individual and will do our best to describe each of our dogs based on personality, not by breed label. What does the adoption donation cover? The adoption donation for one animal allows us to rescue another animal in his/her place. Often just the cost of providing full veterinary care for an animal upon intake exceeds the cost of adoption. By adopting, you are actually saving two lives – that of your new four-legged family member, and the animal taking his/her place. We always strive to provide as much information about our adoptable animals as possible to help potential adopters find the best match for their home. However, we typically don't know much of a new animal's background prior to when they arrive in our care and we may not know what type of environment they're comfortable in (i.e.– are they good with children, or other pets, etc.?). Additionally, animals frequently require some time to decompress before they feel comfortable, so it may take some time before we have a good sense of their true personality. We are constantly updating our animals' online profiles as we learn new information about them.
  • Big Barn FAQs
    Can I volunteer at Big Barn? We are always in need of passionate, caring and dedicated volunteers to help care for the dogs residing at our shelter in Salem, Wisconsin. At this time, you must be 21 years of age or older to volunteer and you must be willing to commit to a minimum of six hours per month. Our current Big Barn volunteer shifts are 8 am – 12 pm and 4 pm – 8 pm. To get started, complete our volunteer application and waiver. After reviewing your application, one of our Volunteer Coordinators will reach out with next steps. Are you hiring at Big Barn? Visit our Career Opportunities page for a list of current open positions. Can I visit Big Barn to view the animals available for adoption? We do not allow visitors at Big Barn outside our open house hours. Check our calendar for updates on scheduled open house days and times. Can I relinquish my animals to Big Barn? We focus our life-saving efforts on animals waiting to be saved in shelters who are at risk of euthanasia. At this time, we are not accepting owner surrenders.
  • Foster FAQs
    How long are animals in their foster homes? The length of an animal’s stay in a foster home varies significantly, and there is no way to determine how long the animal will need a foster. Some animals stay in foster homes from a few days to several months. If at any time you need assistance with taking care of your foster animal (going on vacation, etc.), we will provide them with a place to stay while you are gone. Additionally, if you can no longer foster the animal for any reason, we will provide a new foster home for them as quickly as possible. What does ALIVE Rescue provide for foster homes? ALIVE Rescue will cover all financial obligations for the animal. We will pay for all the animal’s medical and veterinary expenses, food, supplies, a crate, collar and leash. Additionally, we will provide support and guidance on training and the behavior of your foster animal. What if I can no longer keep my foster animal?​ We understand that life events may happen that require a foster animal to be moved immediately, but please try to give as much notice as possible about when you are no longer able to foster so that we can prepare for the animal’s transition.​ What if I want to keep my foster animal forever? We use the same application for both fostering and adopting an animal. In the event that you decide you want to adopt your foster animal, the application is already complete and you will just have to let your Foster Coordinator know you want to make it official. This is always an amazing outcome :) ​ What if my foster animal needs to go to the vet? If your foster animal needs to go to the vet, ALIVE Rescue will cover all veterinary expenses and will arrange transport if needed. More details on this will be provided to you if you become an approved foster home. ​ What if I need help with training my dog? Taking in a foster dog can be hard work. Dogs that come into ALIVE Rescue are on a wide spectrum of training; some dogs require little to no training, while other dogs (especially very young dogs or dogs who have never been a family pet) require more training. Your Foster Coordinator will be there to provide guidance and support on training your foster dog. If more expertise is needed, we have trainers that we will connect you with. We know that foster families have different abilities in regards to time and commitment, but we ask that you put in as much time as possible training your foster dog as this makes them more adoptable. What if I already have a pet of my own?​ Many people who currently own pets foster with ALIVE Rescue. Your current animals must be up to date on all vaccinations and be spayed/neutered. Exposing your pet to other animals is always a health risk, whether that be on walks, in parks or or at the vet, but if your pet is up to date on vaccinations and is healthy, the risk is minimal. Will I be responsible for getting the foster animal adopted? No, but we do need your help. Foster animals need to be made available for adoption events and introductions with qualified applicants. We do not ask that you have these introductions in your home, but we will need to be able to pick up the animal and take them to their introductions. By providing quick responses to inquiries about schedules, you will help make the animal’s adoption go more smoothly. It is also incredibly helpful to share as much information as possible about your foster animal, including photos, to our Foster Home Facebook page and with your Foster Coordinator. This information is helpful to share with potential adopters and on social media posts to boost exposure for your foster animal. What are my responsibilities as a foster home? As a foster home for ALIVE Rescue, you will need to provide space, meals (food provided by ALIVE), basic training, exercise and love for the animal. We will provide you with everything else you need. We ask that you provide us with regular updates on your foster animal so that we can use this information to find them a suitable forever home.
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